, Australia

FWO conducts surprise probe of 17 Top Juice outlets

The investigation came upon anonymous reports of alleged underpayment and other labour issues.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has released a statement regarding its recent surprise investigation on alleged underpayment and other labour issues by Top Juice:

“The Fair Work Ombudsman today carried out surprise audits of 17 Top Juice outlets in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and the ACT to check compliance with Australia’s workplace laws.

Fair Work Inspectors are acting in response to anonymous reports and requests for assistance from Top Juice employees, which indicated the outlets may be breaching the Fair Work Act.

Allegations include the underpayment of staff, failing to provide work breaks, not providing proper payslips or incorrect information detailed on the pay slips, and not paying termination entitlements.

Fair Work Inspectors were on the ground at the stores, reviewing employment records and speaking with Top Juice staff and management about employment entitlements and record keeping processes.

Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker reminded employers that inspectors regularly carried out surprise audits, particularly in the fast food, restaurant and cafe sector.

“Our intelligence indicates that high numbers of migrant workers, international students and young people are employed at Top Juice outlets, who may be unaware of their workplace rights or unable to speak up due to concerns about their visa status,” Ms Parker said.

“Our inspectors are on the ground to gather further information about Top Juice’s operations and determine if there are any breaches of workplace laws. Our priority is to ensure that all staff are receiving the wages and entitlements they are provided under the law.”

“All workers in Australia have the same rights at work and we encourage workers with concerns about their pay to get in touch with the Fair Work Ombudsman,” Ms Parker said.

The FWO has developed new interactive tools for the hospitality sector to make it easier to access information about key entitlements such as pay, hours worked, allowances, leave and termination. Employers and employees can also call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 for free workplace assistance.

Improving workplace law compliance in the hospitality industry is a priority for the Fair Work Ombudsman. While only accounting for 7% of the labour force, the industry accounted for 17% of all disputes the FWO assisted with and 36% of all anonymous reports we received in the last financial year.

Top Juice make and sell a variety of health food products, such as juice and salads. The network operates 75 stores across Australia’s east coast.

The Fair Work Ombudsman will report on any compliance and enforcement outcomes from this activity in due course.”

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